This week we are mired in the worst releases of 2015 as we wait for Razzie noms to be released and our long awaited switch to the Stallonian calendar to take effect. We no longer have any genres to adhere to (remember, we are waiting to use the Action selection to pick Fantastic Four when it gets released) so we are left with the more random categories of Razzies, Chain Reaction, and Scattegories. We decided to mix things up this week by using the Chain Reaction wild card. Why is it a wild card? Well our devoted fans will remember that the last Chain Reaction film was the major blockbuster What Goes Up starring Steve Coogan. It’s a small film with a small cast that didn’t really have the reach necessary to guarantee a 2015 connection worthy of BMT. So instead of forcing some small time film through the pipeline, we will take a little break from our Razzie tour and jump into the 2004 family adventure Around the World in 80 Days starring Steve Coogan and Jackie Chan. Wild card! Now Steven Coogan aficionados may be decrying our snub of his classic Marmaduke, but don’t worry, Marmaduke will have its day. There are reasons we picked Around the World in 80 Days. Reasons that will become clear far in the future (like 6 weeks). For now, let’s go!
Around the World in 80 Days (2004) – BMeTric: 33.8
(I’m very pleasantly surprised with this metric. It makes me curious as to whether it has gone up over time (impossible to tell with this plot, although I would tentatively say it hasn’t). Mostly it’s because the reviews at the time of release weren’t super low. Maybe it’s the opposite of a cult classic. People look back on it and are like ‘yeesh.’ Getting me excited. Note: Plot generated on February 23, 2016)
Leonard Maltin – 1.5 stars – Absentminded Victorian inventor Phileas Fogg embarks on a global journey with a fugitive from justice (Chan) as his valet. Stumblebum remake of the Jules Verne saga is devoid of wit, and with so many CG effects shows no evidence of globetrotting in spite of having used several international locations. The 1956 had cameos by the likes of Sinatra and Dietrich; this one gives us Schwarzenegger in a funny wig.
(Stumblebum?! That’s my middle name. Jamie Stumblebum Smadbeck. I’m all about Stumblebum remakes. All in!)
(When Sugar Ray’s Fly started blasting I threw up all over myself. No longer all in! Not in!)
Director(s) – Frank Coraci – (Known For: The Wedding Singer; BMT: Click; The Waterboy; Blended; Here Comes the Boom; Around the World in 80 Days; Zookeeper. Notes: I need to see Here Comes the Boom stat. Gotta be that Coraci completist. Has somehow escaped Razzie nomination.)
Writer(s) – David N. Titcher (screenplay) – (BMT: Around the World in 80 Days; Notes: Only feature. He is probably best known as the writer of the Noah Wyle TV movie franchise The Librarian.)
David Benullo (screenplay) – (BMT: Around the World in 80 Days. Notes: Only American feature. He interestingly has written a couple Bollywood features.)
David Goldstein (screenplay) – (BMT: Around the World in 80 Days. Notes: There is literally nothing to find out about this guy so I’ll make something up. This is actually my pen name. Yep. That’s right. I wrote Around the World in 80 Days my sophomore year of high school. After having it come out to disastrous box office returns I was too ashamed to tell anyone about it.)
Actors – Jackie Chan – (Known For: Kung Fu Panda; Rush Hour; Rush Hour 2; Shanghai Noon; The Forbidden Kingdom; Shanghai Knights; The Karate Kid; Kung Fu Panda 2; Supercop; Enter the Dragon; The Legend of Drunken Master; Rumble in the Bronx; Police Story. BMT: Rush Hour 3; Around the World in 80 Days; The Tuxedo; The Spy Next Door; The Medallion; The Protector; The Cannonball Run; Cannonball Run II; An Alan Smithee Film: Burn Hollywood Burn. Notes: Funny note on his wiki. Says that he is not a fan of the Rush Hour series despite the incredible success it had. He says he didn’t like the stunts in the films and doesn’t understand American humor. Don’t worry, Jackie. We no longer think Chris Tucker is funny either.)
Steve Coogan – (Known For: Hot Fuzz; Philomena; Tropic Thunder; Despicable Me 2; 24 Hour Party People; The Other Guys; Night at the Museum; The Trip; Hamlet 2; Ruby Sparks; Our Idiot Brother; Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb; Minions; In the Loop; The Trip To Italy; Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief; Night at the Museum 2: Battle of the Smithsonian; Alan Partridge. BMT: Around the World in 80 Days; Marmaduke; What Goes Up. Notes: Just published an autobiography called Easily Distracted. Seeing as I’m a library enthusiast I might have to look and see if that’s available at the always wonderful Rochester Public Library.)
Budget/Gross: $110 million / $24,008,137 ($72,178,895 Worldwide)
(Let that sink in. I wasn’t fully aware of just how disastrous the release of this film was, but oooo mama. That is rough. Opened at 9th (!) in the box office with the 129th worst opening for a 2500+ release film. Just ahead of BMT film The Big Wedding.)
Rotten Tomatoes: 31% (40/127), Hit-and-miss family fare that bares only the slightest resemblance to Verne’s novel.
(See, the reviews seem just mediocre. 31% is pretty high for us and the consensus hints at the idea that at the time of release people just thought ‘meh’ about it. Now, in retrospect, they probably look back and are like ‘what a stumblebum production.’)
Poster – Giant Golden Letters (F)
(Oh god. That is awful. First, the title font, while hilariously impossible for Patrick to spoof, is jarring. Second, look at dem colors. Third, Steve Coogan must have been pissed that when it was all said and done this film was marketed entirely as a Jackie Chan vehicle.)
Tagline(s) – The race begins: June 16. (Blech)
(This is easily the most common tagline you see on the posters and it is no good. It’s just too lazy. I just like to see people try to be clever. No fun when they don’t even try.)
Notes – Arnold Schwarzenegger’s last film before being elected governor of California. (Fantastic)
With a box office loss of around $80 million, this film is considered the biggest independently released flop in film history (it was made by an independent group under Disney). (Yeah it was made by the Walden Group which specializes in Christian family films like the Narnia films. This isn’t a Christian film, but wholesome enough).
Will Forte’s feature film debut. (Wow!)
Razzie Awards 2005, Nominated for Worst Supporting Actor, Arnold Schwarzenegger; Nominated for Worst Remake or Sequel.